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Cori and Rob

Joint bank account question

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Hi all. My husband and I are working on compiling our ROC packet as we have to send it in around early May. He and I have a joint checking account, but we tend to mostly use it to transfer money between the two of us. The only thing we pay out of there as a bill is our rent and the occasional monetary gift for weddings, birthdays, etc. I do the monthly bills (like electricity, cable, insurance, etc) and he pays me for half, so our joint checking account shows a lot of transfers between him and I, but the bills (other than rent) are being paid out of my personal account. I also transfer money to my husband as he pays for groceries. For us, this system works, but how closely will immigration scrutinize the way we spend our money in our joint checking? Will seeing a bunch of transfers from one account to another going to be a red flag? We have lots of other evidence like both names on the lease of our apartment, both names on a car loan, both names on cell phone and car insurance bills, and of course, joint tax filing. Just trying to tap into the VJ hive mind, as I know how picky USCIS can be.

Edited by Cori and Rob

October 2007- Became friends gaming onlineJanuary 16, 2009- Met in person in UKDecember 25, 2011- Ten visits later, engaged!February 24, 2012- I-129F SentFebruary 29, 2012- NOA 1 ReceivedJuly 13, 2012- RFE email sad.pngJuly 20, 2012-RFE response mailed to CSCJuly 24, 2012-RFE response reviewJuly 26, 2012-NOA2!!!!July 30, 2012-NOA2 Hardcopy ReceivedAugust 3, 2012-NVC received case and forwarded to LondonAugust 6, 2012-Case received by LondonAugust 13, 2012-Packet 3 sent out by consulateAugust 15, 2012-Packet 3 receivedAugust 23, 2012-Mailed affidavit and original forms to Rob via express mailAugust 30, 2012-MedicalSeptember 3, 2012-Packet 3 sent to embassy with DS-2001September 4, 2012-Packet 3 and DS-2001 arrive in LondonSeptember 26, 2012-Packet 4 receivedOctober 11, 2012- lnterview- Result: APPROVEDOctober 18, 2012-Visa in handNovember 15, 2012- POE-ORDNovember 21, 2012- Legal wedding!!November 30, 2012- Applied for SSNDecember 7, 2012- SSN card came in mailDecember 20, 2012- AOS/EAD/AP sent outDecember 27, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP Text/email confirmationDecember 31, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP NOA1 received in mailJanuary 22, 2013-Biometrics appointmentFebruary 15, 2013- EAD/AP approvedFebruary 27, 2013- EAD/AP card arrived in mailApril 6, 2013- Big family wedding!!August 12, 2013-AOS text/email- APPROVED!! <p>May 16, 2015- ROC package sent to CSC August 15, 2015- ROC Approved!

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You sound like roommates, but it is what it is so nothing you can do about it. I'm sure you're not the only couple who keeps their finances somewhat separate.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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It'll probably be fine - that you have an active account that both of you use is fine, but it seems a little pointless to have a joint account just to pass money through - why not just pass it directly?

As Nich says, there's nothing you can do about it now. The other evidence you have is good.


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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I know it's a bit unconventional, but we literally never fight about money, so it's working for us! :) And yeah, we actually got the joint checking with ROC in mind, and never really used it the way we probably should have. That said, if you think the other evidence we have will support us enough, then I won't worry about it! Thanks.


October 2007- Became friends gaming onlineJanuary 16, 2009- Met in person in UKDecember 25, 2011- Ten visits later, engaged!February 24, 2012- I-129F SentFebruary 29, 2012- NOA 1 ReceivedJuly 13, 2012- RFE email sad.pngJuly 20, 2012-RFE response mailed to CSCJuly 24, 2012-RFE response reviewJuly 26, 2012-NOA2!!!!July 30, 2012-NOA2 Hardcopy ReceivedAugust 3, 2012-NVC received case and forwarded to LondonAugust 6, 2012-Case received by LondonAugust 13, 2012-Packet 3 sent out by consulateAugust 15, 2012-Packet 3 receivedAugust 23, 2012-Mailed affidavit and original forms to Rob via express mailAugust 30, 2012-MedicalSeptember 3, 2012-Packet 3 sent to embassy with DS-2001September 4, 2012-Packet 3 and DS-2001 arrive in LondonSeptember 26, 2012-Packet 4 receivedOctober 11, 2012- lnterview- Result: APPROVEDOctober 18, 2012-Visa in handNovember 15, 2012- POE-ORDNovember 21, 2012- Legal wedding!!November 30, 2012- Applied for SSNDecember 7, 2012- SSN card came in mailDecember 20, 2012- AOS/EAD/AP sent outDecember 27, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP Text/email confirmationDecember 31, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP NOA1 received in mailJanuary 22, 2013-Biometrics appointmentFebruary 15, 2013- EAD/AP approvedFebruary 27, 2013- EAD/AP card arrived in mailApril 6, 2013- Big family wedding!!August 12, 2013-AOS text/email- APPROVED!! <p>May 16, 2015- ROC package sent to CSC August 15, 2015- ROC Approved!

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Hi all. My husband and I are working on compiling our ROC packet as we have to send it in around early May. He and I have a joint checking account, but we tend to mostly use it to transfer money between the two of us. The only thing we pay out of there as a bill is our rent and the occasional monetary gift for weddings, birthdays, etc. I do the monthly bills (like electricity, cable, insurance, etc) and he pays me for half, so our joint checking account shows a lot of transfers between him and I, but the bills (other than rent) are being paid out of my personal account. I also transfer money to my husband as he pays for groceries. For us, this system works, but how closely will immigration scrutinize the way we spend our money in our joint checking? Will seeing a bunch of transfers from one account to another going to be a red flag? We have lots of other evidence like both names on the lease of our apartment, both names on a car loan, both names on cell phone and car insurance bills, and of course, joint tax filing. Just trying to tap into the VJ hive mind, as I know how picky USCIS can be.

It's my understanding that what USCIS wants to see is a joint bank account with activity. The specific activity on your account isn't really relevant. Joint account is only one of the proofs of financially co-mingling. Other proof/evidence are joint tenancy, joint assets, joint insurance etc. There are people on VJ that I've read that didn't even have any joint accounts but had other proof to show the authenticity of their marriage in USCIS eyes. Good luck.

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Hi, Cori and Rob--here we are again! Can't believe it's been 2+ years already since we were all waiting for fiance visas.

We are in somewhat the same situation, not really by choice. My primary bank has repeatedly refused to add Aaron to the checking account that is used to pay all of our bills, saying he didn't have enough credit history (it has an overdraft line of credit attached to it). It's convenient in so many other ways that I don't want to switch. So, we have a joint account, and it has activity, but clearly isn't our primary account, even though our finances are almost completely merged. He deposits paychecks and any other money he earns into that account, and it's then transferred into the primary one. I plan to submit statements for the primary account showing his paychecks being transferred. Since there are so many ways of handling finances, as long as it appears that we are all coordinating our financial lives together in some way (with other evidence to support that), I hope it will be enough.


Joy (& Aaron, who doesn't read/post here yet)

Dec. 27, 2010: First met each other in Entebbe, Uganda while I was visiting my friend/his cousin (12/27/10-1/10/11)

Jul. 2-9, 2011: I visited again

Dec. 24, 2011- Jan. 9, 2012: I visited again (engaged 1/7/12)

K-1

Feb. 18, 2012: I-129F sent (delivered 2/21 per USPS & USCIS)

Feb. 23, 2012: NOA1 notice date (check cashed/email/text 2/24)

Aug. 9, 2012: NOA2!!! [NOA1 +168 days] (reached NVC 8/17, left NVC 8/20; @embassy 8/24; embassy confirmed receipt 9/5)

Oct. 24 - Nov. 8, 2012: I visited again (Nairobi: medical 10/31; interview 11/5 [NOA1 +256 days]; result--APPROVED!!!!!!!)

Nov. 15, 2012: Visa in hand (was ready for retrieval 11/12)

Nov. 20, 2012: POE, Boston!!!

AOS/EAD/AP

Jan. 12, 2013: Married!

Feb. 4, 2013: AOS packet sent (delivered 2/6, NOA1 text/email & check cashed 2/11 midnight)

Feb. 11, 2013: NOA1 notice date for I-485, EAD, AP (I-485/EAD NOA1 hard copies & biometrics appt letter arrived 2/16, badly mangled AP NOA1 arrived 2/27)

Mar. 4, 2013: Biometrics: done

Apr. 3, 2013: EAD & AP approved (received card 4/11)

Aug. 16, 2013: I-485 approved & green card production ordered!!!! (card arrived 8/26/13) (193 days)

u6yh73zma.png

230Hm5.pngxrcBm5.png

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We did exactly the same thing as OP. Divided all of our bills until we realized it's taking much more time to do that than just having a joint account. We opened one in a different bank last month and it really worked for us. Our paycheck goes there and we still kept the old individual bank account as personal savings, so every now and then we transfer as much amount as we feel like .

Of course now my worry is will uscis be weird about it, that we opened joint accounts after 1.5 years? We are filling on September .


Our K-1 journey * I am the beneficiary *

08/03/2012 sent I-129F

06/27/2013 Interview at Frankfurt Consulate = Approved.

08/09/2013 Wedding!

AOS

09/03/2013 Sent AOS + EAD + AP

12/30/2013 PR card in hand.

ROC

09/29/2015 Sent I-751

10/30/15 Biometrics

05/19/16 Approved

N-400

10/04/2016 Send Package

10/15/2016 NOA

11/04/2016 Biometrics

02/01/2017 Interview

02/23/2017 Oath!

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We had our account set up the same way, I think USCIS cares more about the fact that you both have the right and the ability to access the funds rather than how exactly the funds are used. They did not ask us any questions about it and we got approved, in our case, we both put money in the account, and if there's a need to spend, one of us to transfer it into a personal checking account and use it from there.

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I'm no expert, but I'd say that if both paychecks go into a joint account, that's probably good enough. As others have mentioned, I doubt USCIS is going to do a full audit. They would probably look cross-eyed if they saw money go in and then immediately come out. But they're looking to see if you trust each other, not tell you how to live your lives day to day.

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Hi, Cori and Rob--here we are again! Can't believe it's been 2+ years already since we were all waiting for fiance visas.

We are in somewhat the same situation, not really by choice. My primary bank has repeatedly refused to add Aaron to the checking account that is used to pay all of our bills, saying he didn't have enough credit history (it has an overdraft line of credit attached to it). It's convenient in so many other ways that I don't want to switch. So, we have a joint account, and it has activity, but clearly isn't our primary account, even though our finances are almost completely merged. He deposits paychecks and any other money he earns into that account, and it's then transferred into the primary one. I plan to submit statements for the primary account showing his paychecks being transferred. Since there are so many ways of handling finances, as long as it appears that we are all coordinating our financial lives together in some way (with other evidence to support that), I hope it will be enough.

Joy! It's nice to see a familiar face! I'm hoping our other evidence is enough, but it's good to hear from other people who have similar issues with joint bank accounts. We've been saving everything else for the last two plus years. It sometimes drives me crazy that we have to do so much to prove that we actually love each other and have a bonafide marriage. But I guess it is what it is, and shouldn't come as a surprise since we had to do so much to get the K-1 in the first place. Now I just have to organize the mountain of evidence I've saved over time and sort what is important and what can be tossed.


October 2007- Became friends gaming onlineJanuary 16, 2009- Met in person in UKDecember 25, 2011- Ten visits later, engaged!February 24, 2012- I-129F SentFebruary 29, 2012- NOA 1 ReceivedJuly 13, 2012- RFE email sad.pngJuly 20, 2012-RFE response mailed to CSCJuly 24, 2012-RFE response reviewJuly 26, 2012-NOA2!!!!July 30, 2012-NOA2 Hardcopy ReceivedAugust 3, 2012-NVC received case and forwarded to LondonAugust 6, 2012-Case received by LondonAugust 13, 2012-Packet 3 sent out by consulateAugust 15, 2012-Packet 3 receivedAugust 23, 2012-Mailed affidavit and original forms to Rob via express mailAugust 30, 2012-MedicalSeptember 3, 2012-Packet 3 sent to embassy with DS-2001September 4, 2012-Packet 3 and DS-2001 arrive in LondonSeptember 26, 2012-Packet 4 receivedOctober 11, 2012- lnterview- Result: APPROVEDOctober 18, 2012-Visa in handNovember 15, 2012- POE-ORDNovember 21, 2012- Legal wedding!!November 30, 2012- Applied for SSNDecember 7, 2012- SSN card came in mailDecember 20, 2012- AOS/EAD/AP sent outDecember 27, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP Text/email confirmationDecember 31, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP NOA1 received in mailJanuary 22, 2013-Biometrics appointmentFebruary 15, 2013- EAD/AP approvedFebruary 27, 2013- EAD/AP card arrived in mailApril 6, 2013- Big family wedding!!August 12, 2013-AOS text/email- APPROVED!! <p>May 16, 2015- ROC package sent to CSC August 15, 2015- ROC Approved!

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I would assume that one needs to lead a life normally as to what works for a couple. If one keeps track of every action from the perspective of USCIS, how is one supposed to lead a normal and happy life with their counterpart. There are a large amount of population that keep finances separate except for joint responsibilities like rent, bills etc.

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I would assume that one needs to lead a life normally as to what works for a couple. If one keeps track of every action from the perspective of USCIS, how is one supposed to lead a normal and happy life with their counterpart. There are a large amount of population that keep finances separate except for joint responsibilities like rent, bills etc.

Because immigration requires us to be more co-mingled than a normal couple maybe would be. You have to prove that you're married to someone else in a genuine manner and trust them with everything financial, and a domestic relationship never has to.

Edited by NLR

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Because immigration requires us to be more co-mingled than a normal couple maybe would be. You have to prove that you're married to someone else in a genuine manner and trust them with everything financial, and a domestic relationship never has to.

Right. I understand that. But on the other hand there is also really no need to go out of the way to create documentation. Marriages are based on love.... Not money. And immigration is definitely a benefit arising out of the marriage, but getting married because of immegration may not be the right thing to do.

Essentially speaking, if you do what all normal couples do, one should be fine. I am in the same boat as evwryone else, but no one can deny the truths. Not even USCIS.

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Right. I understand that. But on the other hand there is also really no need to go out of the way to create documentation. Marriages are based on love.... Not money. And immigration is definitely a benefit arising out of the marriage, but getting married because of immegration may not be the right thing to do.

Essentially speaking, if you do what all normal couples do, one should be fine. I am in the same boat as evwryone else, but no one can deny the truths. Not even USCIS.

I think most of us are trying to avoid an RFE or an interview.

You are right, a marriage should be based on love. But, immigration was not a benefit for me. It was a gigantic pain in my butt. But either way we would have to do it (either to Canada or to the USA) because we love each other. I hate this whole process and the fact that I have to do it just to live with my soul-mate. Getting married because of immigration is NEVER the right thing to do FYI.

So the the problem with all of this is to remember to document your lives because someone in an office wants to see if you are really married or not. If it was up to my husband and I, we wouldn't have a single scrap of paper that showed anything because that's not we would choose to live our lives. I hate having all this clutter. So meanwhile I'm making him keep papers that may be useful because of immigration because of someone in an office who gets to decide if I'm allowed to live with my spouse in his country.

Thankfully this ROC trip for us will be the last time I ever send proof of relationship evidence to the USCIS. I would never get citizenship on 3 years because of that fact. I get why they do it and agree with their decisions, but that doesn't mean that I like it either.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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And immigration is definitely a benefit arising out of the marriage, but getting married because of immegration may not be the right thing to do.

Essentially speaking, if you do what all normal couples do, one should be fine. I am in the same boat as evwryone else, but no one can deny the truths. Not even USCIS.

Immigration is not a benefit, it's a privilege and therefore has strings attached (one of them proving exactly what you say - that you are not marrying for immigration purposes).

They can't deny the truth as such, but they can deny your immigration status if they are not satisfied.

It's a nuisance to collect paperwork and do some extra work to make your relationship is as on-paper solid as possible, but it's a darn sight less of a nuisance than dealing with a denial.

Edited by lost_at_sea

* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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